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Tips for Curbing Ferret Aggression - What to Do When Your Fuzzy Pet Is Too "Feisty"

March 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 211

Ferrets are "feisty" critters, no doubt. For the most part, that "feistiness" is what makes them such fun pets. But sometimes it can get a little out of hand. Fortunately, there are several ways to curb ferret aggression.

First of all, if you are adopting or buying a ferret, keep in mind that ferrets have personalities just like anyone else. So be sure to consider whether you would prefer an active or a quieter animal and choose accordingly.

If you already have a ferret and it is more aggressive than you'd like, the most important first step is to determine just what is making your ferret feisty to begin with. They become aggressive for many of the same reasons people do - fear, frustration, hunger. Figure out the cause, and you're halfway to solving the problem.

For example, keep the food and water dish full to ensure His Feistiness isn't merely hungry or thirsty. Keep your cats and dogs out of the ferret room if your fuzzies are not used to other pets yet.

It could be that your ferret has not been trained against biting and nipping. All you have to do is to pick it up firmly by the scruff of the neck and sharply say "No!" After a time or two, your fuzzy should get the hint. You may also give it a quick shake, but only for a second. Never beat or hit a ferret or any other creature.

If your ferret is still a kit and she is playing too aggressively, you can use the same "time out" technique that parents have used on their children for years. Place your kit alone in a pet carrier for a few minutes to give it a chance to calm down. You can take her out again after a few minutes - you only want to redirect the behavior, not put your ferret to sleep. (If you don't have a pet carrier, you may want to just put your ferret in a different part of the cage or introduce a different activity.)

Remember the old saying about idle hands being the devil's workshop? It could be that your ferret is simply bored or lonely. In that case, the best defense against aggression is you. Take your fuzzy out of the cage and play or cuddle with him, depending on the situation. Sometimes you can mellow a ferret out by stroking his fur. At other times, remember that if you can't beat 'em,you should join 'em." Wrestle with your ferret a little - but stop if he starts to bite.

Perhaps you can provide a toy specifically for your ferret to gnaw on when the "feisty" mood strikes. It's better to have a pet toy gnawed to death than your sofa or your clothing. You can use pet toys, old clothing. or whatever you and your pet prefer. But be sure you don't use items that could come apart and choke your ferret or become caught in its claws (e.g., foam, cardboard, and wood chips)

Another way to distract your feisty ferret is to take it for a walk. On the other hand, you may want to let your aggressive fuzzy run like mad around the house. A change of scenery does everyone some good. Whether outdoors on a leash or indoors freely, a good scamper relieves stress and redirects a ferret's attention off of whatever is troubling it.

We all have our moods, and it is quite possible that instead of being lonely, your ferret has the opposite problem. Your carpet shark may just be having a Greta Garbo moment and "wants to be alone." If that's the case, let her be. She'll come out of her hiding spot when she's good and ready.

In extreme cases, ferret aggression could be a sign of abuse. If your ferret was adopted, consult the adoption agency to find out your ferret's history if possible. You may need to check with your vet to make sure there are no signs of injury or neglect. The vet may also discover an underlying illness that may have agitated your pet.

If you have a jill that has not been neutered, consider whether she could be pregnant. The maternal instinct is strong and she could simply be trying to protect herself and her kits.

If you've tried or ruled out each of these measures, you may need to find out more about ferret training at The Ferret Zone. Or you may simply have to shrug your shoulders and learn to live with the "feistiness." All animals have their peculiar traits, and your fuzzy is no different. Pet ferrets love to dig, nip, bite, steal and hide things, and mark their territories. These may not be the preferred behaviors, but there is often little that owners can do to change them. In those cases, it's a matter of grinning and bearing it - and loving your ferrets for who they are.

Ferrets make great pets for those who are willing to make the commitment - because they are rather high-maintenance pets. So you need learn all you can about ferret care and training. You can also go to The Ferret Zone for tips, advice, and ferret funnies.

Source: EzineArticles
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